Mount Gambier High School 3D Printing Workshop
By Raphael Garcia
3D printing is one of the many new tools and fascinating technologies that’s changing the way we can make things.
I had a wonderful opportunity to share my experiences and knowledge with the students and teachers at Mount Gambier High School over a week of fun, interesting and challenging workshops. The workshop started off by explaining why this technology is important and why learning particularly this skill could help them in future jobs and roles. Many teachers and students have heard of this technology but somewhat were puzzled as to how this could be of any use.
Starting with the “Why”: “I can create unique present for my parents or I can design custom bike handles for my BMX”
With the “Why” understood, the students learnt the importance of structure. In the workshops, we used an open ended problem as our case study – A frail elderly lady needs to open some juice for her guests. While it seems easy, it’s quite open ended and there are hundreds of possible ways to do it.
“How” might we do this and what’s the best way?
After learning more on the “Design Thinking” process, the students started to think of ideas of what their prototype could be. “How might we help this lady open a bottle of juice?” Using metrics that they have made in the Design Thinking process helps students to assess if the ideas would succeed. If it opens a bottle – it’s a success! If not, why not and how can we make it better?
Once the students found the best design, it was time to create a 3D design on our software “Fusion360”. The students learnt how to create complex objects from basic shapes and used the software to create a simple wrench that would help the lady open the bottle. After this, the students then learnt how to use a 3D printer with “Cura” and were taught that by changing settings, they can make objects stronger, lighter, print faster or have more detail. Finally we pressed the “Print” button on the printer and waited patiently for our object to be made!
Finally we pressed the “Print” button on the printer and waited patiently for our object to be made!
It was quite a joy when the students came in the next day to ask to print the things that they themselves have made overnight at home. I often get asked “What can you make with this?” I ask back “What’s a problem worth solving – why?” and if it’s important enough, let’s use our skills to solve it. That way skills and talent are put to good use and we are able to be creative to create different solutions to unique problems. These workshops showed that once students understood the problem, they are incredibly creative at coming up with innovative and interesting solutions.
It was a pleasure to come and to run the workshops and I look forward to seeing more of the student’s creations when I return.
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